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Leonardo Castro, un ejemplo más de superación

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De recolector de basura a figura de la primera división del fútbol colombiano.

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Mucho hemos escuchado de recientes historias de jugadorescen Europa que hace años no se les veía en el profesionalismo del fútbol y hoy son estrellas totales (Jamie Vardy, N’Golo Kante, Riyad Mahrez, Dimitri Payet, etc.). Pero esas historias no son tan ajenas a nuestro mundo, aquí en Colombia también tenemos esos casos. La histroria de vida de Leonardo Castro es algo totalmente conmovedor e inspirador.

Leo nació en el municipio de El Tambo el 14 de Junio de 1992, es decir, tiene 24 años., pero su infacia la vivió en Pereira. Su familia nunca fue de lujos pero afortunadamente no faltaba lo necesario. Sus papás, Éver y Luz Amparo eran celador y empelada de servicio respectivamente. Como cualquier niño colombiano de la época, siempre tuvo un balón y fue su pasión desde niño, así disfrutó su infancia. No era bueno con los estudios por lo que decidió dejarlos de lado para dedicarse a trabajar, colaborándole así a sus padres con el soporte económico del hogar.

En el final de su adolescencia y primeros años de adultez trabajó como obrero, domiciliario de una empresa de productos agrícolas y recolector de basura. Nada de esto fue impedimento para que en sus tiempos libres pudiera disfrutar el fútbol. A pesar de las arduas labores siempre sacaba tiempo para irse a una cancha y demostrar las grandes capacidades que tenía. A la vez que trabajaba como recolector de basura por las mañanas, en las tardes entrenaba con un equipo local. En el 2014 disputó la Copa Ciudad Pereira, torneo en el que se destacó como mayor goleador y mejor jugador del certamen. Esto llamó la atención de un club llamado Audifarma, pero el pago que le ofrecían no era suficiente para dejar de lado su trabajo en las basuras.

Se probó en más equipos como La Equidad, Envigado y Barranquilla FC, pero era rechazado por su delgada complexión física, le dijeron cosas como “tenemos las inscripciones llenas“, “usted es muy menudito” y el popular “no sirves para el fútbol“.

Resignado totalmente, Castro volvía a Pereira para seguir una vida común y corriente, pero un día se cruzó con el utilero del Deportivo Pereira, quién lo convenció para que fuera al club a hacerse unas pruebas. Lo hizo y consiguió entrar al equipo, todo esto en el 2014. No había pasado ni un año desde esa Copa Ciudad Pereira y las decepciones que había sufrido, pero por fin empezó a realizar su sueño.

Debutó en la Primera B el 19 de Julio de ese año y su impacto fue inmediato, en su primer torneo hizo 12 goles en 19 partidos, y en el segundo, ya en el 2015 hizo 18 en 33 juegos, haciendo que los clubes de la primera división se fijaran en él.

Para el 2016 llegó al Independiente Medellín, donde empezó como suplente, pero poco a poco fue ganándose la titular hasta ser un indiscutible del equipo campeón de la Liga Águila-I 2016, con 14 goles en 26 partidos disputados con el poderoso contando todas las competiciones, (10 en 22 contando sólo Liga).

Llegó siendo nadie al DIM, y hoy seguramente estará en el corazón de su hinchada por bastante tiempo. De ser recolector de basuras en Pereira a ser estandarte del Medellín en su sexto título de la historia, que historia la de Leo Castro.

 

Por: Julián Rodríguez (Twitter: @Julianrod_297)

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